|Posted by Brandon Dorsey on November 3, 2016 at 4:15 PM|
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 27, 2016
Stonewall Brigade Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans Statement:
The City Council of Lexington, Virginia recently approved a request from an organization known as CARE to hold a parade at the same time and traditional place as the Annual Lee-Jackson Day events hosted by The Stonewall Brigade Camp SCV. It is no secret that some members of the council, the outgoing mayor who forced through the vote, and the college elites have great disdain for the traditional values and views of the native community who still commemorate their Confederate history. These elitists have worked tirelessly to intimidate local venues in an attempt to disrupt the SCV's commemoration of the lives of Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson in their final home and resting place. The latest action is not an act to solidify the community as CARE claims, but an attempt to silence the viewpoints of those they disagree with in the most disrespectful of ways. Unlike CARE, the SCV believes in freedom of expression and believes their viewpoint has every right to be expressed in the public sphere, but not when they choose to do so by attempting quash our right to give honor to the leaders and soldiers which we descend from.
The Sons of Confederate Veteran's membership is open to all races and creeds and has minority members upon its rolls. The Confederate army was not segregated and included many free and slave Blacks upon which the army would not have been able to survive otherwise. The Confederate Secretary of State, Judah P. Benjamin was Jewish at a time when U.S. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered all Jews thrown out of his army. Many Native American tribes fought with the Confederacy and the last Confederate General to surrender was the Indian Chief Stande Waite. Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson were both opposed to slavery. Robert E. Lee's uncle had lead the early fight in Virginia to first stop the spread of slavery and to seek to abolish it. Stonewall Jackson famously lead his Sunday School for local blacks, teaching them to read and write against the laws of the time and through his efforts some of those students went on to prominent rolls in the future. Lexington has a school named for Rev. Lyburn Downing who's parents were taught by Jackson and for which he installed stain glass widows honoring Jackson in his church. In Lexington you will find the grave of a free black Confederate soldier, Levi Miller, who prominently had the large letters C.S.A. placed on his grave marker. The SCV has passed resolutions condemning racial hatred and misuse of Confederate symbols with the latest version available at http://www.scv.org/pdf/2010BattleFlagResolution.pdf
The Stonewall Brigade SCV believes the actions of CARE and others to disrupt the Lee-Jackson Day events is simply an effort to promote hatred for our ancestors and us and an attempt to cause confrontation. Therefore, we will seek to meet with the organizers of CARE and seek to show that our struggle is about honoring the good character of men like Lee and Jackson and not about hatred and perhaps join them in their efforts to denounce such. However, in the meantime we have decided that on the traditional weekend of our event to shift our focus onto promoting Lexington's rich Black Confederate History and call to honor the names of Levi Miller, Jefferson Shields, Jim Lewis, and others. Furthermore, if we cannot reach a consensus to respect our original event date, we plan to host the Lee-Jackson Day events in Lexington on the following weekend on January 21, 2017 which is the birthday of General T.J. “Stonewall” Jackson.